|Posted by BGF FitnessSite on December 4, 2015 at 4:35 PM|
I suffered from poor self-image as long as I can remember. I was infatuated with fitness infomercials in high school and would wake up at 5 am religiously to watch the latest fitness pros talking about how their program would give me the body of my dreams for three easy payments of $29.95. It never dawned on me that my emotional health was comprised or that my fitness motivations fueled by low self-esteem would be at the center of my struggles for years.
I’ve been the proud owner of many fitness programs and most of them did what they promised to do for a period of time. However, in 30 to 60 days, I would find myself sliding down a slippery slope to self-sabotage with overeating, destructive self-talk, and isolation. Each time I had to start over it was a blow to my already diminished self-esteem and the cycle continued. Food was my comfort and being alone allowed me to eat whatever and however I wanted.
After giving birth to my third child (in 2011) I was over 225 pounds, the highest weight I’ve been in my life and I struggled with greatly with postpartum depression, which forced me to face the emotional issues I had been burying for years. At that time, I pledged it would be my last time starting over and I never looked back. Here’s what changed…
1. I got in touch with my why.
There’s a bothersome focus on how to lose weight in the world of fitness, but I’ve come to realize it’s not so much about the how of weight-loss, because that’s pretty simple – eat well and move often. It’s the why that many of us struggle with and very few fitness programs ask us to get in touch with our reasons.
Ask yourself what will keep you motivated when you’re not motivated? The desire to achieve a certain “look” does not always do the trick. Are you motivated by wanting to be healthy and age well? Is there a risk of disease in your family? Do you want to set an example for your children? Do you want to inspire others? Go beyond the physical changes and get in touch with your sound purpose.
2. I developed a support system and publicized my goals.
Let’s face it self-motivation is not always there in the beginning. It takes time to develop those habits, so announcing your goals to others will help keep you accountable until new practices become habits and habits become a part of your lifestyle. For example, tag friends on social media to join you in daily exercise for a certain number of days and once you’ve achieved that goal, set another.
My first accountability challenge was a calendar contest with No Excuse Moms. I participated in a 90 day transformation challenge with thousands of moms and submitted before and after photos to be featured in Maria Kang’s Fit Mom Swimsuit Calendar. Here I am as Miss November at my past weight of 164 pounds!
3. I acknowledged that fitness is more than physical.
There are many factors that can affect our ability to achieve and maintain fitness goals. Wellness is multidimensional – mind, body, and spirit. Often times we think that we’ll feel better if we just lose the weight, but consider approaching that statement in reverse. When you are struggling with a mental or spiritual matter, then you should deal accordingly and sometimes that means getting help. For me that meant working with a holistic energy healer and using coping techniques from Overeaters Anonymous to begin healing in other areas. Later on I began practicing yoga and meditation.
4. I got smart with goal setting.
Success fuels success. Have you read the quote, “Once you see results, it becomes an addiction?” While addiction is not the best word to use here, but achieving goals does make you feel confident, motivated, and excited about what you can accomplish next. Consider using the popular SMART goals technique to set yourself up for success. SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-based. It’s also helpful to set goals based around developing lifestyle change. Is your goal something you can realistically continue beyond it’s expiration date?
5. I zoned in on digestive health.
This may seem like the odd man out here, but paying attention to your gut could be the most important thing you’ll do for your health. Did you know that digestive imbalances may interfere with our ability to lose weight, eliminate waste, and absorb the foods we eat? Nutritional imbalances stemming from poor digestion may lead to lack of motivation, depression, low energy, increased sugar cravings, chronic fatigue, and poor response to exercise. A few things to research in this arena are fiber, probiotics, digestive cleansing, parasite cleansing, and frequency of bowel movements.
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Categories: Fitness + Motivational